Tories welcome burglary law plans

Blackpool Citizen: Chris Grayling says frightened householders who overreact when confronted by burglars will be given more protection Chris Grayling says frightened householders who overreact when confronted by burglars will be given more protection

Tory activists have welcomed Government plans to protect frightened householders who attack burglars.

Justice Secretary Chris Grayling confirmed that ministers would change the law to offer beefed-up support to homeowners who overreact when raiders target their properties.

In a wide-ranging speech to the Tory party conference, he admitted that the party's Liberal Democrat coalition colleagues are hampering Conservative hopes to revamp human rights laws, but pledged to offer voters an alternative at the next general election.

Announcing new laws allowing people to defend their homes, Mr Grayling said householders would not be prosecuted unless their response is "grossly disproportionate".

He told the Birmingham conference: "None of us really knows how frightening it would be if we were confronted by a burglar in the middle of the night, or how terrified we'd feel if we thought our family was in danger.

"You might well hit out in the heat of the moment, without thinking of anything but protecting your loved ones. And right now you're still not sure the law is on your side.

"I think householders acting instinctively and honestly in self-defence are victims not criminals. They should be treated that way.

"That's why we are going to deal with this issue once and for all."

Grassroots Tory members in the Symphony Hall clapped loudly as the Justice Secretary unveiled the shake-up.

The conference also welcomed plans to force more foreign criminals to serve jail sentences in their home countries.

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